New Hope

16 May 2008 text Irina Marinova, photos Ilian Ruzhin
Boian Ivanov is one of the young theatre directors who wins popularity by making provocative spectacles as Q4. He seldom comes to Sofia but now he has just surprised us with two spectacles in the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts and the New Bulgarian University preformed by graduating students. He is also intending of making a third one – Servant of Two Masters in the Ivan Vazov National Theatre. The last one did not happen but anyhow we met Boian to talk about theatre as a mass kind of art and about the mischievous childhood.

You don’t often put plays on stage in Sofia. Does it have something to do with the fact that you don’t want to compromise?
No. It has something to do with the fact that there are exactly three theatres in Sofia that are interesting for me and where I think I would like to work but I have no invitation from them, ha-ha. I am from that kind of people that remember that theatre is art for the masses in the best meaning of this word. I also always try to be communicative. It’s only once that I have tried serving other people’s interests until now and that was my biggest downfall.

Why did you decide to work with students in your last two plays – Afternoon Games and Bollywood?
I wanted to try different things. For example I wanted to make Afternoon Games a performance entirely done by the actors while the director remains hidden. I decided to try a kind of polyphonic actors play – there are nine characters in the play and the action goes on simultaneously at nine places without a break. Besides, I have always loved that play and I very much wanted to make it.

What do you like about it?
I like watching children very much and the adults – even more when they react like children. The truth is finally we don’t grow up that much. I find the parallel between one’s childhood and his older years interesting. Until we worked we talked about that a lot and it turned out to be very important.

What kind of child were you?
I was organizing and giving ideas but there always were more active people who realized the ideas. I invented the mischieves while the others were doing them, ha-ha.

Let’s go to Bollywood. How did the idea for that performance come to you?
It came to us accidentally – to me and Tania Sokolova, the choreographer – it happened while we were rehearsing Q4. We wanted to make parallel between Bollywood – the fabric for beauty, harmony and feelings and the fabric for Western rationalism. At the end we decided to make a whole performance that shows the ordinary people who have some kind of lack in their lives and fill it with the Bollywood dream. It is a dance spectacle with monologue scenes and something like reality interviews – different people speak of their relationships and of the time when two people can’t be together anymore.


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